Social Care In Ireland: A Case Study

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Introduction

For many Social Care Professional is an unidentified term and is commonly mistaken with Social Work Practice. This may be due to the fact that professionalization of the Social Care sector is a relatively new process and, as yet, has not been clearly defined by legislation (Lalor and Share, 2013, p. 3). The profession, which originally derives from residential care for children provided by unskilled religious orders, is a rapidly changing and developing field. But has it achieved a professional recognition in Ireland?

What is Social Care?

Social care can be described as a helping profession performed by highly educated, well trained and skilled people with certain personal attributes, such as empathy and compassion. Their
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14) which was a Catholic Church. The Church had a predominant role in provision of health, education and care, and as a moral guardian it avoided the state's interference in their social practice. According to Fanning and Rush (2006, p. 14), in the second half of the 19th century, the state's role in social welfare became more significant due to 'the withdrawal of religious personnel from the provision of health and social services' (Fanning and Rush, 2006, p. 14) . Arguably, the most significant impact on developing social care in Ireland had several reports issued between the years of 1970's to 1990's which were triggered by 'serious deficiencies' in social services (Share and Lalor, 2013, p. 43) One of those reports, Kennedy Report (1970), was commissioned due to discovery of different forms of child abuse in industrial schools and called for their closure. Other influential reports recognised equality for disabled (1996) as well as the need of education and training of social care workers (1992) (Share and Lalor p. 12). Further reports, focused on regulating professional practice and were issued between the years 1997 and 2005 (Finnerty, 2012). This resulted in Health and Social Care Professional Act 2005, which contributed to recognising social care as a respectable and more legally defined profession governed by the state…show more content…
These are the attributes of highly valued professions such as layers, doctors, or priests. Can social care practitioners be considered as one of them? And what does 'professional' in fact mean?

Many sociologists targeted at analysing the professions. Max Weber (1864–1920) defined professions as a 'social closure' which for many may be unreachable goal due to durable and expensive studies, gender discrimination or intolerance of certain religious groups (Share and Lalor, 2013, p. 43). This theory seems not to be very applicable to social care professionals , however, the concept of professions made by Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) is regarded as very relevant to current social care practice. The sociologist described professionals as those who have a serving and caring duty to the society and who are 'bound by certain ethnical principles' (Share and Lalor, 2013, p.
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